World War 3: NATO fear North Korea
A global response is required to deal with North Korea’s development of long-range missiles that are able to reach North America and Europe, the chief of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Wednesday.
“It’s a global threat. It’s a big challenge for the Republic of Korea being so close. But it’s also a challenge for the rest of the world because North Korea is now developing more longer-range missiles able to reach both North America and Europe,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in his meeting with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
“This is another example that security is inter-connected and global threats require global responses,” the Norwegian politician turned NATO chief noted.
“Therefore we should look into how we can work together on global challenges” like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism and cybersecurity, he said. “The ROK is one of NATO’s longest-standing partners outside Europe and with tension and challenges related to North Korea and many other issues, it’s important we are able to strengthen and develop our partnerships.”
Kang lauded the military alliance’s strong support for South Korea against the backdrop of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
“This year has been particularly challenging in terms of numerous provocations … we are certainly very grateful for NATO’s strong support in the face of these provocations,” she said. “We need that support from the international community in coming to terms with this growing global security threat.”
The NATO chief is visiting Seoul to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues as well as partnership with South Korea.
His visit marks the second-ever trip to South Korea by a secretary general of the military alliance organization between North American and European countries.
Also during his meeting with Kang, Stoltenberg said that sanctions, along with political and diplomatic pressure, are the most useful and realistic means to deal with the North’s nuclear and missile threats, the foreign ministry said in a press release.
He also stressed the need for the international community to faithfully enforce the sanctions. He, in addition, pointed out the importance of the role of China and Russia in resolving the North Korean conundrum.
The officials also signed an agreement to broaden cooperation between South Korea and NATO on six security fronts.
The revised Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme they signed calls for regular consultation and information sharing on cybersecurity, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, response to terrorism, disaster relief, and political and military interoperability and connectivity between the two sides, according to the ministry. The signing would help both sides further strengthen the “forward-looking global partnership,” the ministry said.
North Korea Still Selling Coal
China has submitted to the U.N. a report on its imports of coal from North Korea between August and September amid the ongoing U.N. embargo on the product, a U.S. broadcaster said Thursday.
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee posted a notice on its website that there was one member state that notified the panel of its procurement of coal from the North in August and September, Radio Free Asia said.
Although the committee did not name the state, the broadcaster said it was China, adding that it confirmed the name via multiple U.N. sources.
In its report, the unidentified nation said it purchased 1.63 million tons worth US$138 million in August and 511,000 tons worth $44 million in September from the North, the broadcaster said.
The reported volumes are consistent with those recently released by China’s General Administration of Customs, the broadcaster added.
Earlier, the Chinese commerce ministry declared a complete ban on the imports of North Korean coal by the end of the year pursuant to U.N. Resolution 2371, adopted Aug. 5 to punish the North’s two ICBM tests in July. The Chinese embargo went into effect Aug. 15.
On its continued coal imports from the North even after the ban, the ministry explained Oct. 26 that the punitive step began to be applied Sept. 5, as the U.N. resolution has a 30-day grace period.